November 18, 2013

8 Zen Tips for Becoming a Better Blogger.

The beauty of blogging is that anyone can publish anything, anytime.

The downfall of blogging, too, is that we can all publish anything, anytime.

The endless options of topics about which to write and angles from which to write can be overwhelming. The infinite number of blogs and blog posts already floating around out there in cyberspace can feel intimidating.

Regardless! You have a voice, and you can become a better blogger with consistent practice.

Be creative, honest and compelling. Break through the clutter of the hundreds of other blogs being published today. May these tips be of benefit.

1. The title is everything & nothing.

Without a great blog title, few will click on your post. I find that putting numbers in my titles does wonders. (Sometimes.) There are no hard and fast rules. Titles need to be intriguing, unique, captivating. Spend time on the title. Come up with a bunch and narrow it down to the best one. Ask for others’ opinions if you feel like it. Always make your title something that, as a reader, you’d definitely click.

However, even with a fabulous title, if the post is inadequate, no one will be compelled to comment or share. And comments and sharing is what spreads your message far and wide.

2. Make your posts passionate & compassionate.

Follow up your amazing title with an equally amazing post, whether it is an article, poem, essay, video, or whatever. Be passionate about what you write; share your views and feelings. Be open. Share something of yourself without apology.

Say something specific! Offer information of value to the reader. Avoid lots of cliches and overly general or New Agey jargon.

Also, be compassionate—with both with yourself as “the writer” and with any other subjects of your writing. Use empathy, imagine others’ perspectives. Respond to comments with gratitude and compassion for the reader who took the time to read and the effort to write a comment.

3. Read well-crafted books & blogs.

Seeking inspiration? Read books about the craft of writing. Also, read books that are not about writing. Read great authors—fiction, nonfiction, memoir, poetry, classic, postmodern. Whatever calls to you. You absorb bits of style, syntax and diction by reading the writers you admire most.

Also: read great blogs. Know your medium. Blogs are usually on the shorter side, but whatever the length, notice how most great blog posts are made up of chunks: short paragraphs, lists, quotes, section headings. Notice what blogs make you want to keep reading. Emulate the successful—but be true to your own voice.

6. Be a humble expert.

You are somebody who knows something about something—through experience. Consider yourself an expert in what you are writing about. Know all about it.

At the same time, you are a beginner. Be open, curious, in awe. Thinking less of yourself is humility. Wanting to be something other than who you are, wanting to run from what you are experiencing in this moment, is a natural, human tendency. Feeling small, frustrated or petty? Take a pause, breathe, and get in touch with big, zen mind. Recall your innate goodness and inextricable connection to all else.

7. Let it marinate.

Don’t write something and publish it immediately, no matter how good it seems. Let it sit, overnight at least. Revisit for revision.

Lighten up and do the re-vision with new eyes. The piece might need a complete overhaul, or it might be near ready. Giving your writing this time and space makes it stronger.

8. Write daily. Publish frequently.

You don’t need to publish daily, but a good blogger or writer of any sort needs to write often. Daily, ideally. Keep a personal diary separate from your other notebooks or files on the computer. Keep a notebook with you or nearby at all times for jotting down ideas when they come to you.

Develop the ideas that are the most interesting to you. Write about anything and everything. Write what you know. Write what you don’t know. Write where you’ve been. Write where you’re going. The options are limitless!

9. Walk your talk.

Don’t just write about yoga, mindfulness, meditation, relationships, parenting, gardening, or whatever it is you are writing about. Live it.

Practice what you preach. Live with integrity and express your truth through actions, not mere words.

These are just a few guidelines that I try to remember throughout my own writing process. Rules are made to be broken.

One last reminder. Earning lots of page views is super and exciting, but sometimes a piece that gets just a few hundred views will connect with just one individual reader who is so moved that they leave a thankful comment.

As a blogger, that’s what I’m writing for.


33 Unusual Tips on How to be a Better Writer

A Writer Writes: Tips for Living an Authentic Life

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Editor: Bryonie Wise

{Image: Flickr}

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